Jason Seeley brings nearly 20 years of experience to the department.
There is a new leader managing Winter Park’s green spaces.
The city began a new chapter for parks and recreation on Monday as the City Commission confirmed city staffer Jason Seeley as the new director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Seeley worked previously for the city as assistant director of the department but now has been promoted,
“It’s an exciting role to be taking on, and it’s great to have this opportunity, to bring our Parks and Recreation Department to a new level, a new day,” Seeley said. “We’ve already started kind of making some different changes with the Family Fun events. We’re trying to become more family-friendly and make the Parks and Recreation Department more prominent within the city.”
Winter Park named Seeley as the new director after an interview process during which six qualified candidates were given a written exercise. The top four candidates were given face-to-face interviews.
The new director was named following the retirement of longtime Director John Holland in September 2017.
“Jason has been with the city for several years in various roles, and since Mr. Holland’s retirement, has kind of been our go-to guy to lead that department,” City Manager Randy Knight said. “He’s really stepped up and done a great job and has a lot of innovative ideas.”
Seeley first came to work for Winter Park as chief of recreation in February 2011. He worked his way up to parks and recreation manager in August 2015 before becoming assistant director of parks and recreation in December 2017. Before working in Winter Park, Seeley held positions in Casselberry, Cape Coral, Dunedin and Seminole County.
The new director said his primary goal is to bolster the department’s offerings.
“We want to make those little improvements to our parks and to our facilities to make them better,” said Seeley, who has almost 20 years of experience in parks and recreation. “We also want to engage our residents and hear from them as far as what they want.
“We’re doing the tennis center right now, and we’re in the process of getting that back up and going,” he said. “Then we’re going to work over in Ward Park real soon, as well. We have great parks; it’s just we need to get them brought into the 21st century — modern and upgraded.”
Seeley said he knows the importance of the city’s parks.
“Parks play a role in everything — from economic development (to) the quality of life for our residents,” Seeley said. “A good parks system is going to bring businesses to the city; it’s going to bring more families to the city to live here. For the folks (who) are here, it’s nice to have (a park) within walking distance from your home — have a place to relax after work, a place to go be with your children. It’s one of the more important parts of Winter Park.”